What Weirdos and Children Have in Common | Be Yourself | Know Yourself | Stop Trying to Find Yourself | Love Yourself | Let Go | Be who you always were

Choosing to Be Yourself: How Children and Weirdos are Simliar

Be Yourself: Three Brief Stories

Children’s Choirs

The church I work for has a million children’s choirs. One for every age group. And every semester of the school year, the choirs put on a show for their parents and families.

I was present at the last one taking pictures for our Facebook page.

They started with the youngest choir –  the 2-3 years olds. Those kids were absolutely adorable. The pictures of them are downright cute. They were laughing and smiling and waving and giving thumbs up to their parents. They jumped up and down as they sang.

Gosh, it was cute.

Then the 3-5 year olds sang and it was much of the same.

Then 1st grade sang. Then 2nd grade. Then 3rd grade.

And as the choirs transitioned to older groups of children, I noticed something almost heartbreaking.

All the pictures I captured of grade school children are boring. The children stood stoic and unmoving. They didn’t laugh. They didn’t wave. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades would smile periodically. But the middle schoolers? They were like statues with moving mouths.

Children’s Readings

At my church there are two young girls in elementary and middle school. They are bright and intelligent. And some of my favorite church services are when they read scripture.

The whole building stills in awe as their rising and falling voices paint vivid pictures of the past. They are serious, yet relaxed. The words turn into an epic story, rather than a history lesson.

They have no fear, so they never mess up. They never choke on their words, or trip over pronunciation. It’s a beautiful encounter.

When the adults read scripture, it’s so freaking boring with their monotone voices.

Quarter-Life Dancer

Directly after the previous two stories happened, I was driving into work when I passed a millennial walking down the sidewalk. He was a black man with disheveled, stylish hair, wearing a denim camo jacket and faded jeans.

He wore over-the-ear headphone, and he was clearly going somewhere but was also clearly dancing – making wave motions with his arms. His body following along. He had an enormous smile on his face.

I mean sure, maybe he was high or crazy, but I grinned when I drove by. He was familiar in some unplaceable way.

Be Yourself: One Brief Lesson

What Weirdos and Children Have in Common | Be Yourself | Know Yourself | Stop Trying to Find Yourself | Love Yourself | Let Go | Be who you always were

What do the first two stories have in common? The younger children are free. They are more expressive than older children or adults. They are darling and happy.

What does the dancing man have to do with it? Well, he was familiar because I had just seen him in the children. He was the same as them.

Often, when we see adults acting like children: carefree, expressive and doing things that are no longer age appropriate, we think of them as backward or behind or flawed.

But maybe we can learn from the children and the weirdos.

What Has Covered You Up?

So I’ve been asking myself, what has covered me up. Those children and that dancing man weren’t covered up. They were completely themselves, unmarred by social cues, peer expectation, and hidden rules.

They hadn’t been turned to the drones we are yet. Sure, we have our respective personalities, but we are not free. I am not free.

When I’m home alone, I sing. I sing as loudly as I can. And I dance. I dance all over the house, bobbing my head and throwing my hands up. The butterflies fly away. I laugh with myself.

Those are diamond moments. Almost impossible to coerce out of my coal coverings when I’m anywhere other than alone in my house.

Have you ever noticed how little kids just freaking run everywhere? Like why are you running little kid? But they do! They run when they aren’t even chased. They’ll run in circles laughing and hollering and having a good ole time.

Adults aren’t allowed to do that. There is some hidden, boring adult rule that says: hush now, sit still, don’t laugh too loud.

And those who ignore the rule? Well, there is obviously something odd and off about those people right?

Maybe.

Maybe they just aren’t covered up. They are certainly more free than I am.

Just Be Yourself

Ha that sounds so easy, but it isn’t. None of us are us. We were us when we were children. Before the world crushed us and put us in our place. Before we were shushed in class and forced to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. Before people made fun of us for being ourselves and our parents taught us how to ‘act’ in social situations.

Now, we are what everything and everyone else made us. And that’s ok. It’s mostly just the way of the world. But maybe if we notice it and work against it and push down the fear of being unliked or weird, maybe then we’ll be carefree and content and uncover our essential selves.

I’ve been working on it. When I drive in the car, I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter the people in front of me see a crazy girl dancing in their rearview mirror. When I meet new people, I try to be completely myself instead of pulling on my ear (a nervous tendency I have) and drinking a whole liter of water in a few minutes (another nervous tendency I have).

I just need to relax and be me. It’s hard for an introvert. It really is too bad I can start each extroverted situation with a glass of wine. That always helps me be more of myself.

Anyway, how are you going to be yourself in the coming weeks? How are you going to uncover what the world has covered up? Leave me a comment or send me an email. I’d love to chat.


 

Feeling emotional craziness is part of every life and every person. It's normal to have a moment where you are just completely irrational. The thing is, we have to be able to harness that crazy and not let it control us. We must use that fire inside to make us better. To fuel our passions. To learn from ourselves. To know ourselves.

This Too Shall Pass: A Normal Girl’s Confession about Feeling Crazy

Recently I was driving home from work and I was freaking out.

When I left the building, I thought I was in a good mood. But about five minutes into the drive I was on the verge of tears and it just got worse from there.

By the time I got home, I was raging quietly about all the injustices in the world, but specifically the injustices of my work pertaining only to me personally. Who cared about anyone else’s serious, real life issues. My coworker is an ass. What an injustice!

Anyway. It happened to be my husband birthday, so we went to one of his favorite restaurants for dinner. I was in a mood the whole time and I almost cried over my Pizza Rockefeller. Continue reading “This Too Shall Pass: A Normal Girl’s Confession about Feeling Crazy”

4 Character Traits of the Victim Mindset | victim mindset | minorities | black and white | women’s rights | equality | radical responsibility

The Victim Mindset: When Minorities Attack

Surprise! I’m a black woman. I am two minorities mixed into one. Actually, I’m three. I’m a mixed woman, which is a whole different animal.

Why am I telling you this?

Well I’ve been thinking about feminism and minorities lately, and I have a few things to say specifically to the feminists and minorities:

  1. Feminism has gone a step too far. In an attempt to secure equality, women have swung the pendulum so hard that it’s suddenly acceptable for women to be bitchy, hurtful people. They can say whatever they want about men, treat their own bodies like objects and violently riot in the name of equality. It’s not cool.
  2. Minorities (including women) are so concerned about being treated equally that they think everyone is out to get them. Your boss looks at you sideways and he’s declared to be a sexist, racist asshole. Your neighbor doesn’t laugh at your joke and it’s clearly because she hates black people.
  3. Being a victim is a state of mind. A lot of women and other minorities are victims because they choose to be victims. They are victims of verbal abuse. They are victims of hate. Victims of sexism, racism, prejudice. They can’t get ahead. It’s always because they’re a woman. It’s always because their black. It’s always because their Hispanic. You see what I’m getting at?

Ok, so now that I’ve stepped on everyone’s toes…. Let me say one more thing. Continue reading “The Victim Mindset: When Minorities Attack”

3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married | So many women think they’re never getting married. We think we aren’t good enough and that no one will love us for who we are. Often, we cover up our desire for companionship by blasting our female power and pushing men away. I think feminism is healthy, and I think being single and singleness in general is fantastic, BUT many women want covenant companionships and become depressed when they don’t have them. So click through for three things to help you feel better when you start lamenting that you are a single girl.

3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married

From a very young age, I was sure I’d never get married. (Spoiler, I’m married).

I think I was about 13 when I decided I was going to travel the world, help people and stay single like some kind of millennial Mother Theresa. I genuinely thought it was my destiny to be alone.

In middle school, I actually had this moment where I fell to my bedroom floor and wept because I “realized” I would never get married. Gosh, I was dramatic.

I carried it around with me like a trophy. In a chaste, proud manner, I would tell people I wasn’t meant to get married. I was meant to be an independent woman warrior for Jesus.

Let me tell you all something I don’t have time for these days: independent women warriors – Jesus or no Jesus. Continue reading “3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married”

6 Ways to Remember You Are Enough | There are so many factors that go in our self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image. But at the end of the day, it isn't how you look that defines you. It's what's on the inside that makes you beautiful. Click through to read six ways to be content with your self-image and love yourself. Plus, get my free you-are-enough printable! | self-care | self-love | love yourself |

6 Ways to Be Content with Your Self-Image and Love Yourself

We are hard on ourselves. An entire beauty industry profits off of our lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. The industry doesn’t want you to love yourself.
Who do you want to be? Well, you can be anyone. You want boobs like Scarlett Johansson? There’s a push-up bra for that. You want curves like Beyonce? There’s a bubble-butt work out for that.

Tanning beds, makeup, pimple creams, perms, butt pads… No amount of those things can make your pretty. They might make you feel pretty. They might get you noticed by employers, the opposite sex or construction workers (ha construction workers are now a different species altogether). But they don’t make you pretty.

They cover you up and hide you. They certainly can’t make you love yourself or, more importantly, be content with who you are. Continue reading “6 Ways to Be Content with Your Self-Image and Love Yourself”

You life story says a lot about your personality. If we utilize our stories, we can truly understand ourselves and how we identify ourselves within the world.

Why You Need to Know and Tell Your Life Story

What is your life story? Do you know? How would you tell it?

Human beings are storytellers! We all know the fairy tales from our different cultures. Who doesn’t like to snuggle on the couch and be told a really good story, whether it be from our spouse, our children or Finding Nemo?

We identify with others when they share similar experiences with us.

Oh my parents are divorced too.

I also have five children.

Yea I’m the middle child.

We identify ourselves through these events and scenes from our lives, but we don’t normally pay attention to what kind of person our life story is shaping us to be. Personality psychologists call this knowing-yourself-through-your-story the narrative identity. Continue reading “Why You Need to Know and Tell Your Life Story”

Self-awareness is the third step in the journey of becoming the person you were made to be. To love is to expose the heart.

How to Become the Person You Were Made to Be Part Three: Self-Awareness

I am not the person I’ve always been. Eight years ago I was bitter, angry, insecure, passive aggressive and purposefully mean. I was trifling. I had allowed my circumstances to dictate my reactions and define me.

Now I’m different. I’ve extended forgiveness, I’m mostly content, still a little insecure, my motives are almost completely pure, and I’m the nicest version of myself I’ve ever been. I can’t definitively say I am where I want to be, but I’m on my way.

I’d love to share my how with you.

Below is the third step in a four-part series to teach you everything you need to know to stand up and start becoming the person you were made to be, rather than what your circumstances say about you. Each article details what made me realize I needed to take another step forward. We will also look at some ways to practically apply each idea.

Part 1: First Listen

Part 2: Pay Attention

Part 3: Be Self-Aware

Part 4: Get Outside of Yourself

Disclaimer: This has been a very difficult journey for me. It takes a lot of work and humility. It is not a journey to find yourself, rather one to fully love and know others – for that is how we truly find ourselves.

Part 3: Be Self-Aware

Self-awareness is a form of introspective paying attention. The Oxford Living Dictionary defines it as, “Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”

I would take it one step further and say self-awareness is unbiased understanding of your character, feelings, motives and desires privately and publicly. You must recognize your flaws and strengths impartially and use that recognition to self-correct and progress. Self-awareness allows us to have healthy interactions with others because we start to understand how they are interpreting our actions.

Continue reading “How to Become the Person You Were Made to Be Part Three: Self-Awareness”

Being normal has a bad connotation these days. But if we take a look at its dictionary definition, we'll see that being normal does not mean you are a boring clone.

Redefining the Word Normal

For some reason, the word normal has bad connotations. There are lots of campaigns against normality. Here are some examples:

“Why be normal, when you can be magical?” – Nikita Gill

“Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but now flowers grow on it.” – Van Gogh

“Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.” – Practical Magic

I have to admit, at one point in my life, I identified with all of these. I cherished my abnormality. My differences. My quirks. Of course, I still value myself, and by no means am I saying we need to be walking clones, but I think we are misusing the word. So, let’s look at some definitions. Continue reading “Redefining the Word Normal”

How to Become the Person You Were Made to Be Part One: Listen

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When we choose to listen to others, it allows us to take one step closer to becoming the person we were made to be.

I am not the person I’ve always been.

Eight years ago I was bitter, angry, insecure, passive aggressive and purposefully mean. I was trifling, and I was taught to be that way.

I don’t mean taught like my parents literally gave me lessons in meanness. I mean I was my “circumstantial self” – I had allowed my life circumstances to dictate my reactions and define me. My husband always says I was, “simply falling down the funnel of my life.” He was right.

Now I’m different. I’ve extended forgiveness, I’m mostly content, still a little insecure, my motives are almost completely pure, and I’m the nicest version of myself I’ve ever been. (The list I just wrote is kind of hilarious to me, because I’m clearly still working on all of those things.) I can’t definitively say I am where I want to be, but I’m on my way.

I’d love to share my how with you.

Continue reading “How to Become the Person You Were Made to Be Part One: Listen”